Monaghan v Kildare
Super 8’s Group 1
Croke Park 2pm Sunday 15th July 2018
Kildare looked very impressive for the opening 50 or so minutes against Fermanagh, before a raft of changes saw the tempo drop somewhat and allowed the northern side salvage some dignity on the scoreboard. After the game Kildare boss Cian O’Neill described it as their most complete performance of the Championship so far.
It now seems a long time ago since Kildare went a year without a win in both league and Championship and were spectacularly dumped out of the Leinster championship by Carlow. They’ve responded very well to that seven point defeat with four consecutive wins in the qualifiers. Firstly Derry were beaten by 2-22 v 2-14, Then Longford were seen off by three points 1-16 v 1-13, before coming to national attention in the run up to the Mayo clash with the ‘Newbridge or Nowhere’ saga. That famous win against last years beaten All-Ireland finalists has thrust the Lilly whites into the national spotlight and they are now being talked about as possible All-Ireland semi-finalists.
Monaghan opened their campaign with an impressive two point win over Tyrone (1-18 v 1-16), but like Kildare suffered an embarrassing provincial exit in the Ulster semi-final to Fermanagh curtesy of a late Eoin Donnelly goal. However since then the farney men have put together a good sequence of wins through the qualifiers. They have dispatched Waterford, Leitrim and finally Laois last Sunday, running up a grand total of 6-59 in those three games. Critics will point to the fact that the sides they defeated all played their football in Division four this season, but as the old adage goes, you can only play whats put in front of you.
Both Counties will be anxious to start of the Super 8 series with a win and a tight encounter can be anticipated. For me Kildare get the nod to win by a couple of points, largely due to the quality of opposition in recent weeks giving them a sterner test than Monaghan have encountered thus far.
Team news will be published here as soon as it becomes available.
Monaghan are available at 4/5, while Kildare are 7/4 and the draw is currently priced at 8/1. The handicap betting is also very tight with Monaghan -1/Kildare +1